Integrated approaches yield positive results
Focusing on prevention and treatment, the current strategy to fight malaria is yielding positive results.
Prevention includes long-lasting insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying with insecticides that kill malaria parasites, both cost-effective preventive measures.
Yet, treatment is needed to save lives and eliminate malaria parasites, preventing further transmission of the disease. Since 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) and as a result, most African countries have adopted ACTs as a first-line treatment.
Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) also play an important role in fighting drug resistance by ensuring that ACTs are only given to patients who actually need them. The WHO recommends that all patients be diagnosed prior to ACT treatment, with the exception of children under five in endemic areas, who should be treated presumptively.